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Is voting to balance in the spirit of the site?

I've seen a few comments on questions or answers on SO along the lines of this:

Why was this downvoted (I upvoted to nullify)?

In this case, someone voted down a reasonable answer. Then someone else voted it up, but it appears from the comments (and this is just one example) that the second person would not have normally voted up this answer. The person only voted it up in this case to counter the down vote that he considered unwarranted.

Is this a reasonable thing to do? Is it ever appropriate to vote in response to someone else's vote rather than on the merits of the question/answer?

  • Same inquiry as Is voting to balance in the spirit of the site?. I ended up matching tags, too, but I wasn't even looking at the tags of this question.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    May 24, 2011 at 16:56
  • @Grace Note: I spent 5 minutes looking for a similar question on Meta. Grrr. Thanks for the link. I tried to remove it, but had to settle for voting to close.
    – PengOne
    May 24, 2011 at 17:01
  • 2
    It's better to just leave it in this scenario - if "nullify" is a common term in comments for this, then it helps future users who may run into the same inquiry to close as a duplicate.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    May 24, 2011 at 17:03
  • Voted down, somebody else vote it up.
    – user1228
    May 24, 2011 at 17:27

3 Answers 3


When, if ever, is a “vote to nullify” appropriate?

When you, the voter, deem it appropriate.

The votes are given to you to use as you see fit. Please exercise your best judgement when voting, but don't take it too seriously.


It is not a good response. For example, the down vote could have been due to a previous state of the question, and the down-voter might not have checked back yet to remove the down vote due to a positive edit.

Either way each vote on a question should stand on its own.


Voting to nullify is not always because it was downvoted.

I think that reasonable answers which have been downvoted need to be put back to zero, because people won't be looking at them and they will be put back to the end of the list of answers. And such an answer deserves to have a chance of being rewarded at its true value.

So every time I do something like this I add comment. Indeed, it shall be written : this question is reasonable why was it downvoted? Rather than why was it -1 I've voted up.

  • I don't understand how your first sentence is consistent with the rest of this answer.
    – PengOne
    May 24, 2011 at 17:10
  • I mean the upvote is not driven by the fact the answer is downvoted, but due to it's relevance.
    – M'vy
    May 24, 2011 at 17:17
  • But you're still saying that the up vote is in response to the down vote, right?
    – PengOne
    May 24, 2011 at 17:18
  • Of course it has to be downvoted. Or else no nullification. But what I am trying to say is: you remark a situation that is not correct (answer is good but -1) so you upvote (what you would have done anyway) and you leave a comment to ask why someone found this not worth it. Your vote is motivated by giving a "new" chance to the answer not to be disregarded because of the downvote. There are two purposes behind it.
    – M'vy
    May 24, 2011 at 17:32
  • Well that depends why it was downvoted doesn't it? If I ask a question and get an answer that I feel is not constructive then my downvote is justified. If you feel otherwise then your upvote is also justified. But I'm left with the impression that you see your upvotes as "righting wrongs" - how can you say my downvote needs to be nullified. You can't, no more than I can tell you not to upvote.
    – Rob Moir
    May 24, 2011 at 19:03
  • You can tell if downvoter left a comment. (One of the problem here is a downvote without comment)
    – M'vy
    May 24, 2011 at 19:07

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